What is the danger of small boat accidents?

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 672 people died from boating related accidents in 2010 – a decrease of nearly 9 percent from 2009. However, approximately 88 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. Additionally, in 2009 there were 42 personal watercraft deaths reported. Most of all boating fatalities could have been prevented if passengers were wearing personal flotation devices like life jackets.

There also was $36 million in property damage as a result of boating related accidents in 2009.

Many boating accidents were the result of alcohol use. During 2010, alcohol use was involved in 330 boating accidents and, in addition to contributing to the deaths of 126 boaters, resulted in injuries to 293 others.

The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46 percent), personal watercraft (22 percent) and cabin motorboats (14 percent).

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary reports during 2010, alcohol use was involved in 330 boating accidents. In addition to contributing to the deaths of 126 boaters, alcohol resulted in injuries to 293 others.
Just as in driving a car, alcohol use while boating can lead to impairment of critical senses needed to avoid boating accidents. Slowed reaction time and diminished decision making ability can make your day on the water a less than enjoyable one. Additionally, alcohol can cause dehydration and illness when you are exposed to a hot, sunny day of boating.

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